Arab-American Owner of the Store Where George Floyd Was Killed Says He Condemns Police Brutality
The recent death of gifted 46-year-old athlete and hip-hop artist, George Floyd, has triggered nationwide riots protesting police brutality towards America’s black community. Floyd was identified as the man in a now-viral video that shows a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for at least seven minutes while hearing Floyd say that he couldn’t breathe, but the officer ignored his pleas.
The Arab-American grocery store Cup Foods is owned by Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, who witnessed the incident. Abumayyaleh told reporters, “The murder and execution was something done by the police, and it was an abuse of power. The police brutality needs to stop.” Abumayyaleh said that he actually knew Floyd as a customer, and as someone who was always pleasant.
Minneapolis has more than 50 Arab and Muslim-owned stores mostly located in the northern part of town, where the incident took place, all currently operating under COVID-19 restrictions. The Arab store owners said they feared speaking out publicly about the incident.
In response to the violent death of George Floyd and the escalating frustration towards an unjust system, violence, chaos, and clashes with the police forces in dozens of U.S cities were the only reaction available to many. Cars were set on fire, freeways were blocked, and authorities were shooting tear gas and even rubber bullets at the protestors.
According to reports, “Overnight curfews were enacted in several cities nationwide — including Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Louisville, San Francisco, and Denver — as authorities sought to stem any violence. The National Guard was also activated in several states, including Texas, Georgia, Washington, Ohio, and Kentucky.”